Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: English little presses, book design and production: A study of five London publishers, 1945-1979
Author: Ramanathan, Rathna
ISNI:       0000 0001 3506 1274
Awarding Body: Reading University
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2006
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
The aim of this thesis is to examine the practice of publishing followed by English little presses in the post-World War II period, with particular emphasis on the design and production of books. There is relatively little published material on these presses from the perspective of publishing and design history, and this thesis seeks to redress some of this imbalance. Using a case-study approach, this thesis focuses on the publishing practice of five London-based presses over a thirty-five-year period (1945-1979): Stuart Montgomery's Fulcrum Press, Stefan and Franciszka Themerson's Gaberbocchus Press, Roy Lewis's Keepsake Press, Asa Benveniste's Trigram Press, and Bob Cobbing's Writers Forum. It draws from a variety of sources, including interviews with many closely associated with the presses, archival material (such as correspondence with authors and suppliers, invoices, and artwork), and an analysis of editions published by these presses. The thesis briefly compares little press practice to mainstream publishing and private press practice of the time. Relationships between little presses and mainstream organizations including the Arts Council of Great Britain and the Poetry Society are also briefly considered. The thesis consists of two parts. The first part provides the general context and background and consists of two chapters. The first chapter critically evaluates published material related to little press publishing from different angles, including publishing history, design and printing history, and literary history, with the intention of establishing key sources. The second chapter provides brief biographical information about the principals, and considers their individual methods of operation, including editorial agendas, approaches to marketing and distribution, and financial support. The second part of this thesis is focused on aspects of book production and design, and begins by providing a brief overview of mainstream book production and design during this period. Subsequent chapters, organised by press, examine different aspects of book production and design, with the intention of establishing the extent to which design was an important factor in little press publishing. The approaches, methods, and equipment employed in book production are discussed, and an overview of each press's approach to book design with particular emphasis on typography, illustration, layout and colour is provided. This is further supplemented by a detailed analysis of a chosen title published by each press. An illustrated catalogue of 357 books published by these presses provides added visual context.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available